Team Members

Prof. Ian K. Robinson, Ian Robinson
Ian Robinson is a professor of physics in the London Centre for Nanotechnology. His group is established in the RCaH by two major grants on "Phase modulation technology for X-ray imaging" from EPSRC and "Diamond Professorial Fellowship for imaging chromosomes by coherent X-ray diffraction" from BBSRC. These dual activities overlap in bringing advanced technology to bear on an important scientific problem, the structure of the metaphase human chromosome. This problem has endured since the 19th century and still has many unanswered questions in the resolution range between 10nm and 300nm. One difficulty is that every chromosome is different so they cannot be crystallized. We therefore use high resolution 3D imaging methods to understand the structure. Further details can be found on the website.



Prof. Alessandro Olivo,
Sandro Olivo's primary research interest is in the development of new "real-space" phase-based x-ray imaging methods and their application to a variety of scientific applications. This entails both synchrotron work where methods with enhanced sensitivity are developed and applied to scientific applications currently considered inaccessible (e.g. some areas of tumour biology, soft tissue characterization, etc), and "translational" activities where methods initially developed at synchrotrons are adapted foruse with conventional laboratory x-ray sources. These are then applied to areas such as medicine, biology, material science, NDT, cultural heritage preservation, security inspections and others.



Dr. Bo Chen, Bo Chen
Bo Chen works on 3-dimensional imaging using X-ray and electron microscopies. This was focused on the 3-dimensional structure investigation, analysis and properties simulation of coatings, and is now moving towards the use of electron and x-ray microscopy to reveal the 3-dimensional structure of human chromosomes.





Dr Malcolm R. Howells,
Malcolm Howells has spent his career working at synchrotron radiation facilities, first at the Daresbury SRS in the UK, then in the USA at the NSLS, Brookhaven, and the ALS, Berkeley, where he now holds an emeritus position. His work has mainly concerned the application of x-ray optical techniques to synchrotron beam-line design and to x-ray imaging schemes especially using coherent diffraction, holography and microscopy. His current work with UCL is on extending the visible-light technique ofstructured-illumination-microscopy (SIM) to the x-ray regime.



Dr. Xianping Liu,
Xianping Liu is a doctor of Engineering Materialogy in the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tongji University, China. She is an academic visitor at present in the London Centre for Nanotechnology and doing research at RCaH. Her research interests are advanced cement-based materials, comprehensive utilization of industrial solid wastes and research methods for materials. Her current research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China on "Characterization and quantitative analysis of 3D microstructure of blended cement pastes by synchrotron X-ray microtomography". It takes advantage of advanced technology to understand the composition, structure and properties of cement-based materials in three dimensions.



Dr Graeme R. Morrison, Graeme Morrison
Graeme Morrison is a senior research associate in the London Centre for Nanotechnology. His main research involves the development and application of novel x-ray imaging techniques,with an emphasis on coherent imaging methods and ptychographic imaging. The combination of quantitative phase contrast with more conventional absorption spectromicroscopy offers new capabilities in chemically-specific imaging with high spatial resolution. He is involved in beamline developments at the Diamond Light Source that should allow these new methods to be exploited in both the soft and hard x-ray regimes.



Dr. Joerg Schwenke, Schwenke
Joerg Schwenke is a postdoctoral research associate at the London Centre for Nanotechnology. He works on X-ray coherent diffractive imaging techniques such as ptychography. His main focus is the application of lensless imaging with hard x-rays to the imaging of biological samples, in particular human cell nuclei and chromosomes. He is developing ptychography for quantitative phase measurement of these samples and towards 3D imaging by tomography. He is interested in synchrotron-beamline instrumentation and numerical algorithms for phase retrieval.



Dr. Mohammed Yusuf, Yusuf Mohammed
Dr. Yusuf graduated in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Huddersfield. After an MRes degree in biological sciences at the University of Manchester, he completed his PhD in Genetics from the University of Kent. Before joining the group of Professor Robinson at the London Centre for Nanotechnology, he worked for the University of Bristol and Oxford University. His research expertise is in genetics and cell/molecular biology. He has extensive experience in cytogenetics and chromosome biology. He is currently involved in preparing chromosomes that are used for high-order structure investigation, using a number of imaging methods that include X-rays, 3D electron microscopy, FLIM and super-resolution systems. His further research interests are in understanding chromosome structure using microfluidic technology and imaging cells in 3D that are grown in polymer scaffolds.



Dr. Fucai Zhang, Fucai Zhang
Fucai Zhang is a senior research associate in the University College London. His primary research interest is developing novel imaging techniques with an emphasis on phase sensitivity and usability with radiations of short wavelength like x-rays and electrons. He has long-time research experiences on digital holography and coherent imaging. He was involved in the development of ptychography from its early dates. Currently he aims to implement the single-shot modulation coherent imaging technique that he invented on transmission electron microscope and free electron laser.



Ana Katrina Estandarte, Ana Estandarte
Ana Katrina Estandarte is a PhD student at the London Centre for Nanotechnology. Her research interest is on the study of nanoparticles and chromosome imaging. Currently, she is investigating the diffusion process in nanoparticles during alloy formation using Coherent Diffraction Imaging (CDI). Understanding the diffusion process is important for the controlled synthesis and stability of nanoparticles and gives insight into the alloying process and structure of the nanoparticles formed as a result of the alloying. CDI is a suitable technique for diffusion studies at the atomic scale as it is sensitive to strain and allows the 3D structure of an individual nanoparticle to be determined. For chromosome imaging, Ana is working on the use of fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) to probe the structure of human chromosomes.



Christophe Lynch, Lynch
Chris Lynch is an EngD student in the UCL M3S doctoral training programme working in conjunction with STFC. His project involves the optimisation of existing single molecule localisation microscopy (SMLM) techniques, with the aim of studying the sub-100 nm structure of chromosomes. Some of the most effective SMLM methods (dSTORM, GSDIM etc.) depend on the formation of radical anions of fluorescent dyes. In order to localise several otherwise unresolvable fluorophores, careful control of the chemical environment during laser illumination of a sample is employed. Improvements to existing SMLM techniques will therefore focus on fluorophore design and the optimisation of sample environment during image acquisition.



Marianne Monteforte,
Marianne Monteforte is an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) research student in the UCL M3S doctoral training programme, and has already completed an MRes in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science. Her research is sponsored by the Diamond Light Source, and involves the chemical synthesis of magnetic FePt nanoparticles, and advanced characterisation of their fundamental properties using electrons, neutrons and x-rays. As part of this work, she was a visiting researcher at JAIST (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), developing transmission electron microscopy (TEM) based tomography, to create quantitative 3D reconstructions of isolated FePt nanoparticles (<20 nm in diameter), and to produce strain-field maps of the nanoparticles through computational analysis of the high resolution TEM images. These magnetic nanoparticles have a range of future applications in information technology (ultra high density data storage media), biomedical healthcare (magnetic hyperthermia, targeted drug delivery, MRI contrast agents) and as nano-engineered catalytic devices (such as fuel cells).